Anyone looking for the ideal lunchtime workout class need look no further than Pilates for maximising those few precious hours of the day to stay in shape.
While modern working lifestyles mean a comfortable life for a relatively low intensity work many of us who spend our working days at a desk, more than likely in front of a computer, find it difficult to work a healthy amount of exercise around that schedule. The sedentary nature of the modern work place means that getting an adequate amount of exercise in is more important for the typical office worker than those in more physical or labour intensive jobs. Unfortunately, those of us who work predominantly in the seated position are more likely than most to have to spend an hour commuting in and an hour commuting out at the end of the day. Unless you consider clenching the steering wheel in frustration or repeatedly pushing the accelerator then the break as exercise then those hours are pretty much a write off. By the time we get home if we aren’t totally exhausted it’s probably time to put the dinner on.
Many office workers use the lunch break to pop into one of the numerous gyms and health clubs that populate the average city. Of course, the challenge then is to figure out what kind of exercise to do in that short space of time. You don’t want to do anything too intensive; no one wants to arrive back to the office red faced, breathing heavily and likely still perspiring. You also want to maximise the efficiency of your time by doing an exercise that works as many muscle groups as possible while also increasing fitness. Don’t forget either; it’s your lunch break so you’re probably going to want to eat something at some stage. A lot of cardio activities like running, swimming and cycling aren’t particularly conducive to eating a meal immediately before or after.
Pilates is the ideal lunch time exercise. It’s a low intensity workout, so it won’t prevent you from having a healthy meal during. It also means you don’t have to worry about arriving back at the office panting and dripping with sweat. Pilates was developed to train all the main muscle groups, providing leanness and elasticity. This means you get a full body work out and ultimately long, defined muscles rather than thick bulging ones.
There are other benefits of Pilates that apply particularly to those of us working in offices. One of the goals of Pilates training is to develop spinal and posture alignment. Anyone who sits in an office chair for eight hours a day, no matter how ergonomic it is, will recognise the benefits of working to improve your posture. Another element of the training is focusing on breathing and control. The idea is not only to help focus on muscle movement and develop balance but also to increase concentration and reduce stress. Imagine how much better it would feel to return to the office energised and focused than distracted and fatigued from slinging weights in the gym.